Skip to main content

Ancient Roman Artifact Suspected Of Containing Cannabis Seeds

cannabis seeds

Humans have a long history with the cannabis plant going back thousands of years. For example, a study from 2023 found that “ancestral archaeological relics date the use of this plant fiber as a fabric to approximately 8000 years before the common era (BCE) as a material in ancient Mesopotamia (present-day Iran and Iraq), and to 4000 years BCE and 3000 years BCE as a material for ropes in China and Kazakhstan, respectively.”

A more recent example can be found at an excavation site in northeastern England. An excavation was being performed near an energy-generating facility between Saltholme Nature Reserve and the village of Cowpen Bewley in the district of Stockton-on-Tees, and archeologists discovered an artifact dating back to the Roman empire.

Britain’s Roman period lasted from A.D. 43 to A.D. 410. During that time, modern-day Britain was then the Roman province of Britannia and Britannia was part of the larger Roman empire that stretched across Europe and every corner of the Mediterranean region.

A Roman pot suspected of containing cannabis seeds was previously found in northeastern England and recently identified as possibly containing cannabis seeds. Per Yahoo News UK:

Two human burials had already been found – with teams prepared for even more or the possibility of a cemetery. But then came the discovery of a small Roman pot containing mystery burnt seeds. The beaker was immediatel. y sent to a laboratory for testing – and teams are now waiting to find out if the seeds could be positively identified as hemp.

It is thought that if the seeds found in the small jar at Saltholme are confirmed to be cannabis, then they might have been heated and the smoke inhaled, possibly as part of a Roman funeral ritual.

Cannabis use was common among humans 2,000 years ago, with the cultures surrounding the ancient Greeks and Romans using psychoactive cannabis in their medicine, religions, and recreational activities. Cannabis in many forms was traded throughout Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.

The recent discovery in England serves as another reminder of the long history between humans and the cannabis plant. The cannabis plant is arguably the most versatile plant on earth, and it should have never been prohibited in the first place. Thankfully, many nations are modernizing their cannabis policies to permit humans to make legal use of the cannabis plant.